Chelsea laboured for much of their quarter-final first leg at the Sinobo Stadium. But they were much improved after Hazard was brought on just before the hour mark, and Marcos Alonso scored a crucial away goal four minutes from time (U.S. and UK only, respectively):
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.@ChelseaFCinUSA find the late breakthrough by way of Marcos Alonso 🔵
Watch the final minutes NOW on #BRLive: https://t.co/1f8bMrc3nN https://t.co/IjTcuO6qoc
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A sublime cross by Willian and a thumping header from Marcos Alonso!
Big. Away. Goal. 👊 https://t.co/lApLKVYaw2
Asked whether he had it in mind to use Hazard from the bench ahead of the match, Sarri said, per Nick Purewal of Press Association Sport (h/t MailOnline):
“No, at the beginning of the match I wanted him on the bench because I thought that, probably, the match was really very difficult. Probably I’d need to use him. Of course, if at the end of the first half we were 1-0, I wouldn’t have used him.”
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The Belgian will be vital for the Blues when they visit Anfield on Sunday to take on league leaders Liverpool.
HUGE matches incoming
An away goal is such a crucial commodity in European ties, and Sarri’s side will be widely expected to win the return leg at Stamford Bridge on Thursday.
On the other side of the draw, Arsenal won 2-0 at home to Napoli and Valencia beat Villarreal 3-1 at El Madrigal.